Condado de Alhama News

The Latest news in and around Condado de Alhama

The end of the summer?

Posted by naranjosjardine1 on September 22, 2014

Those of you that were on Condado this Summer will know that it was hot and dry.  According to Murcia Today, Murcia has just experienced it’s driest Summer since 1941 and the hottest since 1943.  I have been looking around Google and found an article in The Coastrider.net titled ‘Driest in Alicante for 157 years’ which highlights the plight of farmers in the south east corner of the Iberian peninsula which I guess includes Mazarron and Alhama and since it allows me to copy it I’ve copied it for you to read.  It reminds us that although we think of Condado de Alhama as a holiday resort it is in the middle of an agricultural region.

Driest in Alicante for 157 years

According to data issued by the Laboratory of Climatology in the University of Alicante recently the city is experiencing its driest half year for 157 years since 1857 when official records start. ‘It remains one of the driest years in the south east corner of the Iberian peninsula over the last 150 years,’ said the head of the climatology laboratory Professor Jorge Olcina. Only 27 litres of rainfall has been recorded in the province over the first six months of this year.

Jorge Olcina went on to say that recent rain in the northern part of the province had been useful for irrigating crops and helping to at least briefly reduce the effect of the on going drought the region has been suffering for almost 12 months. However he added that in the rest of the province the rains had come to practically nothing and had had little or no effect on the drought. ‘If it does not rain as normal in the next two months,’ he said, ‘the drought conditions will worsen and the situation will become serious.’

The President of the Young Farmers’ Association in Alicante, Eladio Aniorte, was quoted in regional newspaper La Verdad as agreeing with the statements from Professor Ocina saying that ‘the outlook is bleak’ particularly in the centre and south of the province. ‘In the Vega Baja, Elche and Alicante it has not rained at all.’

‘Things are very bad; if it does not rain I do not know where it will end. Losses are great, everyone believes between 30 and €40 million,’ he told the newspaper. Aniorte also talked about the crops that are being planted now. ‘Artichokes are being planted now and potatoes and broccoli should be started soon but everything is up in the air and everyone is worried and nobody dares to plant because if it does not rain and with the heat at the moment the plants will die within two months and the crop will not be worth anything,’ he said. This could well mean higher prices for the rest of us in the shops for local fruit and vegetable.

Aniorte was also critical of central government’s lack of practical support for the farmers. They have offered to subsidise and defer interest payments on loans to 12 months but he believes farmers should not be paying Social Security or income tax. He went on to also criticise the Valencian government for saying they will help ‘but doing nothing’.

Paul Mutter

And today it rained.  We had a brief shower a few days ago and the temperatures dropped but today we woke up with rain clouds across the mountains and mid morning the heavens opened with thunder and lightening over head. Anybody outside away from shelter was drenched including my dog – he is still drying out after several hours, as was his walker – not me!  The marshal thoughtfully collected golfers off the golf course.  The golf course is a dangerous and frightening place whilst thunder and lightening storms over head.

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Rain clouds over the mountains – So thick you can’t see the mountain!

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The sun came out later

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and chased the clouds away for awhile but later it clouded over again and looks like more rain.  The temperature has dropped with a cool breeze – I love it.  I’ve never been a fan of the hot temperatures.  Throughout the morning, through rain and sun the maintenance men were out fixing the top balcony on Penthouse 15.

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So that’s my first blog in ages.  While Condado sweltered through a hot summer I was travelling Europe in my new Motor-home so my next few blogs will be a little about my travels

                                                               Lesley

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Spas and swimming pools

Posted by naranjosjardine1 on August 16, 2014

Condado is busy and bustling and whilst people are enjoying their holidays on and around site I’m out and about but before I launch into my tourist guide role I’d just like to tell you about the almond trees.  Do you remember the beautiful blossom on the almond trees that I took pictures of during February and March time – well the blossom has turned into almonds. Can you spot the almonds in this picture.

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I have sampled the nuts from the trees and they are delicious.  What is unusual about almonds is that the nut casing falls away from the nut to the floor leaving the nut remaining on the tree.   The local farmers pick the nuts by encasing the tree with large nets and then attaching a device to their tractors which literally shakes the tree dislodging the nuts into the nets.  I guess the farmers keep the trees a certain size so they can cover the trees with the nets.

Out and about.  I visited a tiny town called Banos de Fortuna, close to Fortuna which are both famed for their hot springs and spas which since roman times have been know for their healing abilities especially for rheumatic and traumatic illnesses.  The water from the springs are at a constant temperature of around 35 oC.  

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Fortuna is well known for its spa’s and hotels and has been reported in the Costa Calida.  If you google – Fortuna Spain Spa, up comes the article which will give you lots of background information.  Google further and you will find lots of recommendations for hotels etc. with spa deals, treatments which are worth considering for that spot of luxury. 

Banos de Fortuna boasts of one such hotel, Hotel Leana which is elegant, regal and has a sense of the Colonial/Victorian era about it.  My recommendation isn’t for one of these plush hotels but something a little more simple and low budget and that’s the Camp site – Camping Fuente at Banos de Fortuna.  Apart from being an excellent campsite with small bungalow/chalets for hire and a hotel there is a swimming pool complex which is open all year round, is at a constant temperature of 35 oC and  includes, jets, spas, bubbles and the such.  It has sunbathing areas with a bar and a restaurant and is ideal for a days outing.   It is popular and best visited during off peak times and during the week.  Its around 10 euros per person for the day and there is also a  meal deal, menu del dia and entry to the pool for around 15 euros.  The water is wonderful.  I’m generally not a swimming pool person but I was happy to while away a few hours in the pool.  I reckon it will be great in winter!

Banos de Fortuna is situated about 10 – 15 minutes away from the A7 between Murcia and Alicante and is approx. 30 minutes from Murcia.  For directions to the campsite and more information visit the website http://www.campings.com/camping-fuente-banos-de-fortuna/

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Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Lesley

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Tale of two seasons and a fair.

Posted by naranjosjardine1 on July 22, 2014

Its hot, hot and hot. Temperatures are soaring and every day seems to be the hottest of the Summer. Pile on the sun cream and drink loads of water if you are lucky enough to be relaxing around the resort. Summer entertainment continues as most evenings I can hear the music from the Al Kasar drifting across to the gardens. Most of the bars in Al Kasar and the Condado Club have a full programme of entertainment planned so look at the boards outside the bars to see what’s on and where.

The main talk of the resort has been the fair on the outside road– its been the topic of conversation around the resort, on facebook and Eye on Spain – is it a good idea or not, who gave permission for it and should it be situated where it is? Some of the replies/discussion comments make interesting reading. I thought one person’s comment, which simply summed up said “it doesn’t bother me so what’s all the fuss about?” was some what selfish. I feel sorry for the people living close to the fair on La Isla. I know what its like to have noise invade the peace and privacy of your home be it temporary or a permanent as the paella tent as part of previous fiestas was situated close to our apartment, so for the week before, the day of the paella and the days after we were disturbed by workman etc. as they made ready and cleared up after the event. At least my noise wasn’t at night and wasn’t over all of the summer period. So to the people of La Isla I hope the disturbance is minimal. The fair doesn’t look that busy and the noise level to date hasn’t been particularly high but then its not quite on my doorstep as it is for the residents other there.

The problem with Condado is that it is viewed in two different ways. Essentially it is an urbanisation with around 200/300 permanent residents and 50+ winter residents who live and maybe work on the complex. During the winter it is quiet with a small village style feel. Change the season and the complex changes into a holiday resort, a busy, noisy place which resembles a city atmosphere. The two seasons are so different that most contented residents of the winter season cannot possibly be fully happy in the summer and the extra hassle, like the fair just sends the stress levels rising. Holiday visitors on the other hand seem to love the buzz, the late night garden parties, the bustle around the pools, eating and drinking around the bars and the general feel of a busy resort. Each year it gets busier and busier and holiday visitors seem to love it even more.

The fair, I think shows up the differences between the two groups, generally (because of course there is always exceptions to the rule ) most residents, close to it, hate it and most visiting holiday visitors have no objection to it. At the end of the day, people will vote with their feet. If the fair proves popular it will return, if it is unsuccessful it won’t come back next year.

Inside Al Kasar the trampolines and the little train are proving popular. The trampolines with the harnesses are 3 euros a time with a discount for a multi ticket. Us oldies are jealous. We would all love to be able to have a go although we are all relieved that there is probably a weight limit and we won’t be allowed on, nobody has dared to check this fact out for sure in case we are invited on!

The new security system is up and running with the new registration recognition system. The drawback to the new system seems to be that owners or renters arriving in their hire car cannot get onto the complex without going through a security check and at times there is a queue waiting to get in. Indeed some of the people working in the bars and restaurants on site are also experiencing problems gaining access. Previously owners could enter the complex with their card no matter what car they were driving – I wonder how people feel about this.

Lesley

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A little bit about a busy Condado

Posted by naranjosjardine1 on July 4, 2014

So what’s going on, on Condado this week well . . . lets see, lots of little things so lets make a small list.

  1. Everybody is raving about the fact that the bakery in Al Kasar is selling the famous British Greggs pies and pasties. I’ve never had one (yes, I know that is sad and I don’t even know if its spelt Gregs or Greggs – I expect somebody will tell me) but those who are in the know reckon they are delicious.

  2. There is a new shop opened in the old golf shop in Al Kasar selling household items, electrical goods, children’s toys and cheap indoor and outdoor furniture. My first impression was it looked like the market had come into Al Kasar in the middle of the week as the terrace is littered with boxes of all shapes and sizes making the general area look tatty and is this conducive to a good view and setting during a leisurely early evening meal at the Bulgarian and pizza parlour? Now is the shop a good thing or a bad thing? Well that depends on who you are. The goods on sale are favourably priced with some bargains and seem good quality so for us consumers the benefit are on the plus side but my sources tell me they are only paying rent for 2 months over the summer months. The other businesses on Al Kasar have to pay rent for the 12 month period and community charges so there goods have to be priced accordingly – now that doesn’t seem fair.

  3. I hear of so many cases of people who enjoy an early evening of drinking but the end of the evening is a blur and the people concerned spend the next day being violently sick with no memories of the previous night. This is common occurrence especially amongst holiday makers out for a care free evening and yes we can all smile, we’ve all done it or do still do it regularly but for me it raises two issues, drink awareness and secondly safety.

    Its the summer, Phil and I call it the silly season, holiday makers flock from abroad, spend all day in the sun on their sunbeds and around the pool soaking up sun rays to obtain that lovely brown colour that most Northern Europeans love to go back home with and become dehydrated. They reach for a drink – a nice cool beer or a long cool cocktail with lots of ice clinking in the glass and as the body craves fluid another is drunk and then another. Now Phil isn’t a water drinker (he hates the stuff) but yesterday he drank 4 litres of water on the golf course which is a measure of how much extra water the body requires if you are out in the sun for hours. Drinking alcohol to replace body fluids the body craves will lead to drunkenness, sickness and the resulting misery the following day. So my advise is to make sure you drink plenty of water during the day especially if you spend time sunbathing.

    Be aware of what you are drinking around the bars, especially around spirits. The measures out here in Spain are very generous compared to the UK. There doesn’t seem to be a standard measure only a count to 5 – how long or slow the count takes isn’t set in stone and varies but all I can say is a measure of any alcohol in Spain is more than a four times that of a standard UK measure. So two gins, whiskey or vodkas etc. served with ice and a mixer here on Condado have the alcohol content of at least 8 drinks in the UK and watch those cocktails – some of the cocktails have more than 1- 2 Spanish measures of alcohol in them. Read the menu and be aware of what you drink.

    The other aspect of drinking especially around groups of young girls is the safety aspect. When drunk anybody is vulnerable and legless drunken souls rely on the good will of others to assist them home. What if the person who assists them home doesn’t have good intentions? Being a mother and a women it amazes me sometimes how naive and vulnerable small groups of young attractive women are when they are obviously drunk. Condado is not the crime capital of Spain but it only takes one bad person with trouble on their minds.. . . . . enough said.

  4. At the market on Saturday, Maria our new Spanish president and several of us from the CPR committee went out to inform people about CPR – that was enlightening but I’ll write about that on CPR website, but yes the market was with us on Saturday. Whilst standing around discussing CPR with anybody that would listen I noticed a team of young Spanish bike-riders all dressed the same in the usual bikers gear, looking very fit and well worth a second look. They left the Bokao where they had been eating and pushing their bikes headed over towards the Clover and the French to exit Al Kasar but they couldn’t get out as the gates were locked and then following them around they tried to exit the side gates and they were locked too. The only exit out of Al Kasar was by the supermarket which had market stalls both sides of the passage-way. What madness. Over 1000 people were in the Al Kasar with only one exit, which was partially blocked. Madness. Who ever came up with that idea needs their head testing. Security was called by the businesses around the locked gate but they couldn’t open them as they had been told not to. Hopefully through the week something will be sorted out and the gates will be open next Saturday – if not it will be a sad, state of affairs.

  5. So its Friday, Condado is geared up for the week-end and the resort is in full swing. The bars, restaurants, clubs and beauty parlours are all up and ready for the summer. Maybe I’ll see you around if you are on Condado.                                                               Lesley

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Saturday Market

Posted by naranjosjardine1 on June 24, 2014

Saturday evening, with the coming of the market, Condado sparkled and came alive with the bars of Al Kasar busy and bustling. The Market had its usual mix of handbags, shoes, phone covers of all colours, this and that, pictures, fruit and veg and other curiosities to wear, eat or decorate the apartment with – if you still have any empty spaces left. There were some great pictures by the supermarket, I particularly liked a big one of two elephant heads and a smaller set of Spanish flemenco dancers but unfortunately the walls in my apartment are full, or at least will be when my beloved husband puts all my pictures up! Here’s a few photos :

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For entertainment The Bulgarian hosted a display of talented young dancers from the Murcian Dance Group who are based in Camposol and include some young ladies who reside on Condado which was followed by the The Clover’s outside entertainment – the popular Cas band.   Here are some pictures of the busy bars on the first big summer Saturday.

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Next weeks entertainment at the Clover is one of my favourites – Sandy Fitzpatrick on Friday and Robbie James on Saturday.

Have a great week

Lesley

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